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Roy Haynes is over 70 years old and he’s still throwing curve after curve. On this fun record, the drum legend teams up with pianist Danilo Perez and bassist John Patitucci to revisit some tried-and-true repertoire and serve up plenty of surprises as well. Each of the six studio and four live cuts is dedicated to a major figure with whom Haynes has associated since the 40s. What could be better than three of the most modern, inventive, extroverted jazz musicians paying tribute to everyone from Sarah Vaughan, Bud Powell, and Duke Ellington to Chick Corea and Pat Metheny? (Haynes never actually played with Duke. He turned down an invitation to join the Ellington orchestra.)
Amazingly, the studio tracks brim with every bit as much energy as the live ones. Highlights include the seldom-played "Shulie a Bop," a breathtaking scat showcase for Sarah Vaughan in the 50s; and Chick Corea’s "Folk Song," which Perez interprets with toned-down precision. Of the live cuts, the Miles/Bird classic "Sippin’ at Bells," played blindingly fast, is the showstopper. Monk receives a double salute with a playful reading of "Bright Mississippi" and an epic version of "Green Chimneys." Although some of these tunes have been in Haynes’s book for years, they’ve never sounded fresher.
Tracks: 1. Wail 2. Question and Answer 3. Shulie a Bop 4. Dear Old Stockholm 5. It's Easy to Remember 6. Folk Song 7. Sippin' at Bells 8. Bright Mississippi 9. Prelude to a Kiss 10. Green Chimneys
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.